China Bullet Train

978 views
867 views

Published on

China Bullet Train

Published in: Art & Photos, Travel, Business
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
978
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
3
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
79
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

China Bullet Train

  1. 1. When China's $300 billion high-speed train system is completed, it will be the world's largest, fastest, and most technologically sophisticated. Photographer Benjamin Lowy captures the epic project and reveals its human side. 9-14-2009 China Bullet Train
  2. 2. Creating a rail system in a country of 1.3 billion people guarantees that the scale will be gargantuan. Almost 16,000 miles of new track will have been laid when the build-out is done in 2020. China will consume about 117 million tons of concrete just to construct the buttresses on which the tracks will be carried. The total amount of rolled steel on the Beijing-to-Shanghai line alone would be enough to construct 120 copies of the "Bird's Nest" -- the iconic Olympic stadium in Beijing. The top speed on trains that will run from Beijing to Shanghai will approach 220 miles an hour. Last year passengers in China made 1.4 billion rail journeys, and Chinese railroad officials expect that in a nation whose major cities are already choked with traffic, the figure could easily double over the next decade.
  3. 3. Construction on the vast multibillion-dollar project commenced in 2005 and will run through 2020. This year China will invest $50 billion in its new high-speed passenger rail system, more than double the amount spent in 2008. By the time the project is completed, Beijing will have pumped $300 billion into it. This effort is of more than passing historical interest. It can be seen properly as part and parcel of China's economic rise as a developing nation modernizing at warp speed, catching up with the rich world and in some instances -- like high-speed rail -- leapfrogging it entirely. But this project symbolizes even more than that. This monumental infrastructure build-out has become the centerpiece of China's effort to navigate the global financial crisis and the ensuing recession.
  4. 4. The high-speed rail line that will eventually connect Beijing with Shanghai is expected to cut travel time from 10 hours to four when the line opens in a couple of years. The top speed on trains that will run from Beijing to Shanghai will approach 220 miles an hour.
  5. 5. An engineer uses a high-tech signaling and control system to make sure all arrive safely. Bombardier of Canada got the contract for a signaling system, as well as for work on 40 high-speed trains.
  6. 6. A young woman traveling to Beijing glances out the window as a Tianjin-bound train zips past at top speeds of 133 mph. The vast system's first route opened just before the Olympics last year. The 70-mile trip, usually a two-hour commute, now takes a half-hour.
  7. 7. The urban Chinese landscape shoots past the front conductor's window of the Tianjin-to-Beijing train.
  8. 8. Work is full steam ahead at China Railway Construction sites between Beijing and Hebei province.
  9. 9. One constant is the sight of massive concrete buttresses lined up one after another as far as the eye can see. The buttresses support the tracks for the high-speed trains. They weigh 800 tons each, and close to 200,000 of them are being built all across the country.
  10. 10. In Hebei province, a welder wears a cardboard mask. The project uses mainly migrant workers, who receive five days of basic safety training, a rarity in China for manual laborers.
  11. 11. Construction advances at breakneck speed along a China Railway bridge construction site in Nanjing. The total amount of rolled steel on the Beijing-to-Shanghai line alone would be enough to construct 120 copies of the "Bird's Nest" -- the iconic Olympic stadium in Beijing.
  12. 12. This year alone, China will invest $50 billion in its high-speed passenger rail system, more than double the amount spent in 2008. The U.S., by comparison, has only $8 billion allocated for high-speed trains, all from the Obama stimulus package and to be spent by 2012.
  13. 13. A high-speed train travels through Beijing on its way to Tianjin. Almost 16,000 miles of new track will have been laid when the system is done in 2020.
  14. 14. Passengers at the Tianjin railway station. Last year, passengers in China made 1.4 billion rail journeys, and Chinese railroad officials expect that, in a nation whose major cities are already choked with traffic, the figure could easily double over the next decade.
  15. 15. A young couple shares an embrace at the Tianjin railway station as train passengers wait to board a high-speed train bound for Beijing.
  16. 16. The rail network will be a product of China's economic system. The Railroad Ministry sets plans, state-owned banks lend money, and state-owned companies get projects rolling. Meanwhile, many private businesses struggle to get bank loans. THE END

×